How Are PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Related?
Since the symptoms of PTSD can be so debilitating, many people choose to use substances, such as alcohol and other drugs, to self-medicate. Self-medication is generally an attempt to make unpleasant symptoms disappear — particularly to make the intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares stop or be less distracting. Unfortunately, this only works temporarily and can make symptoms worse when a person sobers up.
People with comorbid PTSD and substance use disorder are more likely to struggle with alcohol abuse than drug abuse. Alcohol is a depressant that can help people stop feeling strong emotions for a short period, and it’s also significantly easier to obtain than illicit substances.
There are many reasons someone may not seek or receive professional help for their mental health problem. The stigma surrounding these problems is often a contributing factor, but lack of health insurance, poverty and other socioeconomic factors may also play a part. For active military personnel battling PTSD, deployment and other responsibilities can delay seeking help and getting treatment.
What Is Dual Diagnosis?
Dual diagnosis is a term that refers to someone having both a mental illness (like PTSD) and an addiction (like substance use disorder). Mental disorders are the initial underlying issue for some people, and substance abuse disorders are sometimes used to manage the symptoms.
For those who have comorbid PTSD and SUD, it’s crucial to receive help for both PTSD and addiction at the same time. Otherwise, a person risks relapsing and using drugs or alcohol to control the underlying mental health symptoms again.
Treatment of Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Use
The first step in recovering from comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorder is recognizing that you need help. This is often the most challenging part and takes a lot of courage. Once you recognize the need for help, you can call Ranch Creek Recovery to schedule a consultation appointment. We can help verify your insurance benefits, so you know exactly what your co-occurring substance abuse and PTSD treatment will cost.
After the initial consultation, you’ll undergo the intake process. During this process, you’ll speak with a professional about your issues and answer important questions like how much (and how often) you abuse a substance. Together, the two of you will develop a treatment plan that works best for you and your unique needs.
Every treatment plan is customized, so your dual diagnosis treatment of co-occurring PTSD and addiction may look different from someone else’s. However, most plans will begin with detox. Then, some combination of our residential program, outpatient rehab, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and holistic options will be used. Each of these treatment program aspects is discussed in more depth below.
During the detox process, all traces of the substance you abused will leave your system. Many people find this the most difficult part of the recovery process, and that’s why it’s highly recommended you undergo your detox in a medical setting. Our team of compassionate providers will support you during each stage of your detox and provide constant medical supervision.
The length of your detox will vary based on various factors. These factors might include:
- The substance used
- The length of time you’ve used the substance
- The strength of doses you were taking most recently
- Your personality and physical health
During detox, you may experience a range of symptoms as the substance you’ve been addicted to leaves your body. This experience is different for everyone. The most common symptom is a strong craving for the drug or alcohol you’re detoxing from. A few other common symptoms experienced during detox include nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbances, mood changes and sinus problems. A few people may experience delirium or hallucinations.
Our residential inpatient program allows you to temporarily live at our facility so you can focus on getting sober without being distracted or overwhelmed by external responsibilities. We offer 30-day, 60-day and 90-day residential programs. The duration of your stay will depend on many factors and will be discussed during your consultation or intake.
During your stay at our beautiful, calming rehab center, you’ll be able to take advantage of various treatment options. For example, holistic options, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are all provided during our residential program.
The outpatient rehab program at Ranch Creek Recovery is designed to support the needs of people who can’t commit to full-time residential stays. During our outpatient program, you’ll receive ongoing care on a regular schedule for specific hours each week. Outpatient programs for PTSD and substance abuse last a minimum of 10 weeks, but many patients continue for longer durations.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a type of talk therapy that can be particularly useful in treating both post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. During each session, your therapist will help you modify your negative thought patterns and talk about the issues that initially caused your PTSD so you can heal.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT is a modified form of CBT that specifically focuses on those individuals who have thoughts of suicide or self-harm. During dialectical behavior therapy, you’ll undergo skills training, individual therapy sessions, phone coaching and homework assignments that are customized to your specific needs.
Holistic Treatment Options
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we believe traditional approaches will always have a place in mental health and addiction treatments. However, we also believe these traditional approaches are most effective when supplemented with holistic treatment options.
A few of the holistic treatment options we utilize include:
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Amino acid therapy
- Guided meditation
- Sound healing therapy
The purpose of these holistic treatments is to reduce stress and improve your physical and mental well-being. They can also bring a greater sense of self and mindfulness that greatly improves your chances of remaining sober.
Why Choose Ranch Creek Recovery for Your Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we believe substance abuse and mental health deserve a customized approach that isn’t always addressed through traditional 12-step programs. Our combination of traditional and holistic therapy options helps treat and improve your whole self — mind, body and spirit — instead of only addressing the addiction.
Our compassionate, licensed staff provides a well-rounded, structured treatment plan that can help you recover from PTSD and addiction and remain sober moving forward. We have a 2-to-1 staff-to-patient ratio, ensuring you get the attention and focus you deserve.
All our services take place in our beautiful, serene center, which offers luxurious accommodations designed to make you feel as relaxed as possible. Patient rooms are comfortable and spacious, with private bath areas to maximize privacy. Outside, you’ll find gorgeous greenery to help you feel more grounded and connected to nature.
If you’re worried about being able to afford our treatment programs, contact us to verify your insurance benefits. Many major insurance companies cover all or part of the services we provide.
Get the Addiction and PTSD Treatment You Need Today
If you’re facing co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder, you don’t have to go it alone. Ranch Creek Recovery can help you recover from your substance use disorder and simultaneously receive help with your PTSD symptoms. Call us at (877) 775-9225 to speak with one of our addiction and mental health disorder specialists. Start your recovery journey today.